For Pete's Sake

Coaches Frank Haith, Dan Hurley ejected after trying to shake hands following dustup

Tulsa head coach Frank Haith directs his players from the sideline in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Cincinnati.
Tulsa head coach Frank Haith directs his players from the sideline in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Cincinnati. AP Photo

People have been shaking hands for thousands of years, but an attempt by two college basketball coaches to make up after a disagreement ended with them being ejected from a game.

Tulsa’s Frank Haith, the former Mizzou coach, and Connecticut’s Dan Hurley had both received a technical foul during Wednesday’s game after exchanging words.

Hurley then walked toward Haith with the hopes of shaking hands. Instead, the official gave them both a technical foul and they were ejected.

Officials told the Tulsa World the second technical was because the two had left the coaches’ box.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Hurley told The Associated Press. “It was surreal, I would say. ... Watch what happened on TV. It’s very clear. I was talking to the official, and then I was engaged by someone on the other sideline. They said my name, in my direction, so I turned and looked (with) kind of a look of surprise.

“I’ve known Frank for a very long time — probably 15, 18, 20 years, back to when I was a high school coach and he recruited my players. I feel as though that situation escalated because of the officials and the way they handled the situation.”

Haith told the Tulsa World: “It was competitive banter. Both coaches are competitors, and I think both coaches were trying to help their team. I think it started out like that. I don’t think it escalated to both of us being ejected, and that’s disappointing.”

Here is the shorter version of the handshake gone awry:

And this is a longer look at it:

From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.


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